PENTICTON — The Penticton Minor Hockey Association (PMHA) has launched a lawsuit against its former treasurer’s estate, her family and five John Does.
The PMHA alleges Sandra Elder, who passed away July 2013, stole $315,650 from the organization.
A forensic audit only looked at the latter three years when Elder was treasurer, but she’s held that position since 2001.
Erik Lund, the lawyer hired by the PMHA, explained that investigation already costed about $29,000 and it would have been too expensive to look at the records from all 12 years.
“It was balancing thoroughness and completeness, and to use a bit of a cliche, throwing good money after bad,” said Lund. “We already lost what appeared to be a good sum of money. So we decided that 3 years would be good balance.”
According to court documents, the association alleges Elder transferred the funds to others “for their use, benefit and enjoyment in the form of money, goods, services, and support.”
Besides Elder’s family, the PMHA also believes five other people also benefited from the stolen money.
The document lists the people as John Does because it is unknown at this time who they are.
Lund explained that for this case, five is a reasonable estimate, but there may be more or fewer.
RCMP are currently investigating to see who these John Does are, and if they exist.
“So the determination now is to see if other people may have been involved and may have disposed unknowingly that these funds were stolen, or weren’t properly obtained,” said Cpl Martin Trudeau.
Lund said the association is hopeful some of the funds can be recovered.
“We’re certainly optimistic that we can recover at least a substantial portion of it, but really that’s a question that only time can answer.”
The defendants have not yet responded with a statement of defence.